It looks like conservatives skeptical about the new Showtime terrorism series “Homeland” were right after all.
I had hoped that show co-producers/co-writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa of “24” fame would be able to bring us a story that did not paint America as the villain but actually called the terrorists the bad guys. I have been let down, again.
Let’s review what has happened so far in “Homeland,” which airs at 10 p.m. EST Sunday nights, to lead me to this conclusion. The show started with American prisoner of war Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) being recovered from Iraq after being held captive for eight years. A CIA officer suspected him of having been turned against his country by his Islamist terrorist captors. This is not out of the realm of possibility, and the Islamist terrorists were still being pursued.
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During the investigation into terrorist leader Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), the CIA started to suspect a Saudi national professor of helping Nazir funnel money into the terror organization. Not so fast. The professor’s American wife was actually the one helping the terrorists.
Next, we learned that Brody was not the American soldier who had been turned; it was actually his presumed dead sniper team partner, Tom Walker (Chris Chalk), who was working with the terrorists.
An FBI assault team tracking Walker chased him into a building that they did not know was a mosque and shot two innocent men waiting for morning prayer. The FBI decided to lie about the incident and say that they were fired upon first, but Walker never fired at them. The CIA learned the imam of the mosque did in fact know who Walker was but would only provide the information if the FBI admitted what actually happened and pay the victims’ families. Of course, they refused and said they would capture Walker on their own.
And now for the coup de grâce: we then find out Brody actually is working with the terrorists, he just did not know that Walker was still alive and working with them as well. What happened to cause Sergeant Brody to sympathize with terrorists? While Brody was in captivity, the U.S. lied about a drone attack that killed Iraqi children, including the son of terrorist leader Nazir, naturally. They went so far as to show Brody and Nazir watching a press conference with the Vice President after the drone attack, during which he accused the Iraqis of creating the story for propaganda purposes, to which Nazir responded, “and they call us terrorists.”
Three of the four known terrorists in the series are American. Enough already. When is this America bashing going to stop? We know who the real terrorists in this world are. Why is Hollywood so afraid to admit the truth and name them?
I will watch the final three episodes of this season. I will not do so because I support the message, but because I have already invested so much time and effort into the series and want to know what the terrorists are plotting. There may also be a tiny part of me that naively is hoping things change before the finale and America can be the hero instead of the villain. I highly doubt that and will therefore not be watching season 2.